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How To Keep Your Macbook Pro From Overheating - Keeping Your Mac Cool

Updated on July 15, 2011

The Macbook Pro Overheating Problem

The Macbook Pro (MBP) is an impeccable machine. Apple has managed to cram the power of a desktop computer within the small aluminum frame of a fifteen inch screen notebook pc. With great power comes great responsibility, however!! The Macbook Pro generates a lot of heat, and I mean a lot. Mine frequently gets hot enough to cook an egg!!! 

A hot Macbook Pro is a sad Macbook Pro.  Though the Intel Core 2 Duos are rated to be able to withstand these temperatures, the heat can shorten the life of other components including the battery and hard drives.  In fact, my battery lasts a paltry ten minutes!!!  But that's beside the point.

There are generally two ways to go about remedying this problem.  You can either purchase a laptop cooling device or force your Macbook Pro's fans to spin faster than their standard 2000 rpm.

Zalman Laptop Cooler
Zalman Laptop Cooler

Where To Buy A Macbook Pro Cooler

Most laptop coolers will work with the Macbook Pro, but you'll want to take note of a few key features.

  1. You will want a metal cooler, as this metal will help transfer some of the heat away from the MBP's aluminum body.  With a plastic laptop you can get by with a plastic laptop cooler just fine, but with the Macbook Pro you'll definitely want a metal device.
  2. When choosing a cooler it's important to take note of the fan speed.  A higher rpm will cool your laptop more efficiently, but it will also be more noisy.  So it's important to balance speed and noise when choosing a laptop cooler.
  3. How is the notebook cooler powered?  Does it use an AC adapter or is it powered through USB?  A USB powered cooler is generally more convenient, but it does eat up one of your Macbook Pro's two USB slots.  However, some devices (such as the Zalman ZM-NC 1000) incorporate a USB hub which will make up for the lost slot.

Increasing The Speed Of The Macbook Pro's Internal Fans

The second method to lower your computer's internal temperatures is to "hack" it into having a higher fan RPM speed.  However, the latest updates are supposedly able to fix this problem.

But, if your computer is still running too hot after all of the latest updates you can download some programs that will allow you to manually change fanspeed.  Two popular programs are smcFan Control and  CoreDuo Temp.  Google these programs for the latest updates.


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